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Hauppauge HD-PVR?

#21
Along with the component cables I can use the digital input to record 6 channel audio?
Hauppauge already segregates the two inputs in their API. So NextPVR incorporates that capability. You can set the Video to analog and the Audio to optical Spdif. As far as 6 channel, I assume you mean 5.1 surround (The .1 represents the Subwoofer). If the STB streams out a 5.1 channel stream, it will be recorded as such. If the STB streams out 2 channel, it will be recorded as such.

After I record in .TS then use Handbrake to save in .mp4?
Yes. TS is not just a container, it was specifically designed for live streaming and OTA broadcasting. If the feed or the recording is suddenly interrupted, the recording file is least likely to be ruined. But TS files are larger and can't store Metadata like .mp4 or .mkv. VAP/Videoredo not only will use Handbrake to create an MP4 from the TS file, it will also insert show metadata for archive purposes.

What is network tuning?
Most STBs are able to be connected to a network lan through their Ethernet jack. Their software has been configured to receive HTML channel changing remote commands. The Laptop identifies the STB by its IP address. In the old days, they use to use a special RS232-to-USB setup which was slow and less reliable. These features were incorporated for advance remote control systems like Crestron, URC and Control 4 type systems. Basically for wealthy people who have integrated smart home systems. Today, they use Ethernet instead of RS232. Directv has removed the ethernet port from some of their STBs, but network control still works. All Directv did was force customers to buy a special ethernet-to-Coax cable bridge to connect their STBS into the web.

As long as your Laptop is on the same home network and can see the STB, it should be able to control it. You'll have to do some google searching on what HTML string is needed to be sent to the STB. You also need a third party software to send the HTML code when using NEXTPVR. But if you have the custom HTML string, you can testing it by pasting it into the URL on your browser (after you've connected the STB to your network and setup its IP). You might need to purchase a network ethernet switch if your router does not have enough ports.

HTML string for Directv:------> http://10.10.1.64:8080/tv/tune?major={channel}&minor=65535

You just replace "{channel]" with the channel number you want to switch too, when you are testing in a browser.
 
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#22
Hauppauge already segregates the two inputs in their API. So NextPVR incorporates that capability. You can set the Video to analog and the Audio to optical Spdif. As far as 6 channel, I assume you mean 5.1 surround (The .1 represents the Subwoofer). If the STB streams out a 5.1 channel stream, it will be recorded as such. If the STB streams out 2 channel, it will be recorded as such.



Yes. TS is not just a container, it was specifically designed for live streaming and OTA broadcasting. If the feed or the recording is suddenly interrupted, the recording file is least likely to be ruined. But TS files are larger and can't store Metadata like .mp4 or .mkv. VAP/Videoredo not only will use Handbrake to create an MP4 from the TS file, it will also insert show metadata for archive purposes.



Most STBs are able to be connected to a network lan through their Ethernet jack. Their software has been configured to receive HTML channel changing remote commands. The Laptop identifies the STB by its IP address. In the old days, they use to use a special RS232-to-USB setup which was slow and less reliable. These features were incorporated for advance remote control systems like Crestron, URC and Control 4 type systems. Basically for wealthy people who have integrated smart home systems. Today, they use Ethernet instead of RS232. Directv has removed the ethernet port from some of their STBs, but network control still works. All Directv did was force customers to buy a special ethernet-to-Coax cable bridge to connect their STBS into the web.

As long as your Laptop is on the same home network and can see the STB, it should be able to control it. You'll have to do some google searching on what HTML string is needed to be sent to the STB. You also need a third party software to send the HTML code when using NEXTPVR. But if you have the custom HTML string, you can testing it by pasting it into the URL on your browser (after you've connected the STB to your network and setup its IP). You might need to purchase a network ethernet switch if your router does not have enough ports.

HTML string for Directv:------> http://10.10.1.64:8080/tv/tune?major={channel}&minor=65535

You just replace "{channel]" with the channel number you want to switch too, when you are testing in a browser.
I meant 5.1 audio. It makes sense how it works.

My Fios box has an ethernet port so I'm good there.

Do I search for an HTML string for my particular Fios box? Is there anything in particular I have to search for? It's a Motorola qip7100 2.

What third party software are you using to send the HTML code when using NEXTPVR?
 
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#23
Yes, you'll have to search. You can also check out: http://www.remotecentral.com/

As far as software, I use CURL which is a simple GNU. I attached a link to this post. There is no installer. I just unzipped it and placed the contents in a "Curl" folder that I created in the "Program Files x86" folder in c Drive. When you open that CURL folder, there is a subfolder called src that contains an app called "curl.exe". I point NPVR to that app along with the HTML code and it fully triggers the STB through the network.

https://curl.haxx.se/download.html


Some STB boxes ship with the ethernet port shut off in the software. I don't know anything about FIOS, but Directv does this. Too turn it on, you have to power up the box first and let it boot (if its already running, you don't need to do this). Then you plug in the ethernet into the STB. Then you need to locate and press the "red" reset button once (don't do the hard reset). When the box resets and reboots, it detects the network connection and turns on the port. Only pressing the reset accomplishes this, after a live network is connected. Power cycling the STB by unplugging the power has no effect.
 
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#24
The HD-PVR2 doesn't come with or use a remote control for it's operation. The HD-PVR only records/captures the signal you feed it over HDMI or Component inputs. There is a manual "Record now" button on the top, but otherwise, everything is controlled by software running on you computer (Wintv, Arcsoft ShowBiz or Hauppauge Capture). You tell the software what to do, it sends signals over USB to the HD-PVR and it does the rest, feeding what it records back over the same USB to the software, which creates the A/V file you can watch or edit.

You can still use your existing remote to change channels on the cable, satellite or tv tuner, but that is not controlling the HD-PVR, just the current program source device.

The HD-PVR does have a Infrared emitter on a wire you point at the cable box, sat box it needs to control. The software and IR emitter puts out the same coded pulses of light your regular remote sends. The source box sees the pulses and changes channels at the appropriate time so you record the right program.
If you have cats, don't leave your regular remote out when you are recording. Mine love to sit on the tv remote, change channels, pull up the setup menu and any other mischief they can do by butt dialing the remote.
Does the Hauppauge HD-PVR2(WinTV) turn the set top box on, using the IR emitter, or does the set top box need to stay on prior to recording with the HD-PVR2?
 
#25
Does the Hauppauge HD-PVR2(WinTV) turn the set top box on, using the IR emitter, or does the set top box need to stay on prior to recording with the HD-PVR2?
Most electronics now never actually turn off anyway - just power down to a minimum and watching for IR signals. If a cable box was really "off" you would have to push a physical power button to turn it on, not a remote. Probably could wake up the cable box with the HD-PVR IR, but your computer and HD-PVR have to be on anyway, so why bother?

I just leave my cable box, HD-PVR2 and capture computer on all the time. You could turn everything truly off and power it up every time, but it would only save a few cents of electricity. The benefit is I can schedule recordings weeks in advance, in the middle of the night or while I'm on vacation and the system records it all.
 
#26
Most electronics now never actually turn off anyway - just power down to a minimum and watching for IR signals. If a cable box was really "off" you would have to push a physical power button to turn it on, not a remote. Probably could wake up the cable box with the HD-PVR IR, but your computer and HD-PVR have to be on anyway, so why bother?

I just leave my cable box, HD-PVR2 and capture computer on all the time. You could turn everything truly off and power it up every time, but it would only save a few cents of electricity. The benefit is I can schedule recordings weeks in advance, in the middle of the night or while I'm on vacation and the system records it all.
This is what I ended up doing, leaving the computer, HD-PVR2 and cable box on. I finally got everything up and running and have been scheduling recordings for over a week now.

Everything seems OK except I had a scheduled recording this evening from 6:55PM - 8:05PM set up in WinTV and it only recorded 31 min 45 sec but under 'Recordings' in WinTV it has the correct times I set up but only shows the 31:45 length as actually recorded.

I've noticed it'll record 15 seconds less which probably has to do with the start of the recording so I always add some extra time manually.

Do you have any idea why the recording was cut short? The green light on the HD-PVR2 was on.

Could it have lost the connection to the cable box momentarily or would that not affect the scheduled recording time in WinTV?

BTW I'm using an HP Pavilion laptop PC with an i7 quad core processor and 12 GB of Ram. It has a 256 SSD I'm recording on to. I think the computer is fine.
 
#27
Do you have any idea why the recording was cut short? The green light on the HD-PVR2 was on.
I had this issue early on. It seems to be a problem with the Hauppauge box dealing with cable resolution switching during the recording. My cable feed can change from HD for the program to other resolutions for some commercials. This can cause the HD-PVR recording to just stop or screwup the time stamps if the recording keeps going. Sometimes if the full recording did finish, running thru VRD QuickFix can get it repaired - often it won't.

My definitive solution was to go into the setup menu of my cable box. This is not the regular "Menu/Setup" on the remote, but an Advanced Setup menu accessed by holding the "Menu" button while turning the cable box on. Your box should have something similar.
There is a section that sets what resolutions your output device (normally a tv - but also the HD-PVR) can accept. I unchecked all but 1080i. Now the cable box only outputs 1080i no matter if there is a SD res commercial. The few channels that are native 720p are just upconverted by the cable box to 1080i also, but I can see no quality difference and I'm picky. Any SD cable channels show black-boxed, but their quality is too poor for recording anyway.

As to the startup delay, the PC software has to register the Start time has arrived, start the recording app, wake up the HD-PVR, tell it to send the IR signal to change channels, allow for the cable box to tune in the correct channel and buffer a little. It's a wonder the delay is not worse. I set the all start times 2 mins early and end times 2 mins after. Networks aren't always exactly on the time listed in various guides.
Also Windows Time used by PC can be off quite a bit. By default it only syncs with the atomic clock once a week. It is a very simple to change the registry value and set Time Sync Interval more frequently. (Google search will get you some instructions). I have mine PC set to sync every 12 hours to ensure the Time used by any program will be accurate.
 
#28
I checked the logs and there were too many characters in the program title of the scheduled recording. The log said there was a text error and the length of text must be less than 64 characters long. Since then I shortened the text and it seems OK.
 
#29
Along with the component cables I can use the digital input to record 6 channel audio?

After I record in .TS then use Handbrake to save in .mp4?

What is network tuning?
Yes... If your STB or Cable box has digital out and that particular program has 6ch audio (not all do). Analog video / Digital audio inputs have to be configured when you set the HDPVR up.

Your raw recording will be AVC video and whatever audio in the .TS container. You can edit the .TS first with VRD and then encode with Handbrake or run the full .TS thru Handbrake and then edit the .MP4 with VRD to remove any extra at beginning/ending and any commercials. Either way works. I don't use Handbrake much. If it's a program needing only average quality , I usually just do both edit and encoding with VRD. For something special with, I edit with VRD and use an x264 encoder with more quality options than available in VRD, but much longer coding times.

Network Tuning is using your computer to send channel changing signals over your network to a RJ-45 LAN port on the back of your STB or cable box.

I would disagree with jtcreate's advice. You are just starting out and have to learn lots of new concepts. Start with IR-Blaster tuning and save the complexities of Network Tuning for later when you have all the other stuff running smoothly.

I've been using IR for over 10 years with great results. Only one of my 5 cable boxes even has RJ-45, but all can take IR signals from the HD-PVR2. One cable box came with an optional remote IR receiver cable. I used black tape to secure the PVR IR emitter and cable IR receiver face to face. The other box I record from, the only IR receiver is on the front face. I attached the HD-PVR2 IR Blaster there with black tape also, blocking out any room light. My cable remotes still work, as they use wireless radio, not IR. Remember IR switching is rapid coded pulses of light. Stray sunlight or reflections at certain time of day can drown out the IR-Blaster pulses, causing wrong channels or no recording, leaving you wondering why it works most of the time.
 
#30
I'm still trying to get this to run smoothly. Yesterday I scheduled a recording and I opened up WinTV to make sure it was OK. When I closed WinTV the recording stopped. I might have hit something I shouldn't but I'm not sure. I immediately hit the record button on the top of the HD-PVR2 and it opened up Hauppauge Capture which said the HD-PVR2 wasn't connected. I can't understand why.

In the program files folder on my PC I opened the WinTV folder and found an application called RestartTVServer. I clicked on this and it re-connected the HD-PVR2.

This problem has happened to me a couple of times. If an in progress recording stops it disconnects the HD-PVR2. I think I should be able to just hit the record button on top of the HD-PVR2 or open Hauppauge Capture to restart my recording but it says it's not connected.

Does anyone have any ideas?
 
#31
Your question refers to several different issues.

Issue 1. There are 2 Hauppauge programs you have installed that are used to record, but in different ways.
- WinTV has a scheduler and starts/stops it's recording based on what you set in that scheduler.
- WinTV does also has a real-time record ability, but you have to start the WinTV GUI, then start the recording and hang around to turn it off.

- Hauppauge Capture is a manual only record program. You start/stop recording manually in the program OR by pressing the button on top of the HD-PVR2.
- Capture can also have a duration for the recording set and will stop based on that.
- If you are recording with WinTV and it crashes, pressing the button on the HD-PVR2, will start the Capture program, not restart WinTV.
- As separate programs, WinTV and Capture each also have their own configuration menus. Unless you configure them the same, you can get different types of encodings produced by each.

Issue 2. The HD-PVR is a USB device. When you boot Windows finds any USB devices and loads drivers to operate them. The Hauppauge HD-PVR Driver takes commands from a recording program, passes them over USB to the HD-PVR and receives info or streaming data back over USB to then pass to the recording program to be saved as the file.
Both the Capture program and WinTv program work thru this same driver. If the driver crashes, the program sees no device and can't do anything until you get the driver working again by restarting the TVServer.

Issue 3 - Why is the TVServer stopping? This one will be tough, because it doesn't happen all the time, it happens when you aren't looking and it will leave no obvious error message to tell you what happened.
Best approach is to "shotgun" it. (fire a bunch of pellets and hope one kills the bird)

- Make sure the motherboard drivers are up to date (especially MB chipset and any separate USB drivers)
- go to Hauppauge website and install latest WinTV & Capture program versions. This should also update to latest HD-PVR2 driver, which today is v35244 from Aug 2018.
- check ALL cables and connections between HD-PVR and computer for tightness. Swap the USB cable with one from another device. (I use a 12ft USB cable to reach, but it is not a cheap one).
- Is your HD-PVR on a Battery Backup UPS? Very quick AC power fluctuations can effect it, but not your tv or computer (bigger/better circuits) - all should be on a UPS when recording.
- try to figure out if there is any common event with the programs you are recording. I used to have a similar issue with cable box recording. The cable program would be 1080i, but at the break, the cable company would insert a commercial of a different resolution (720p or SD) either the res change or interlace change would flummux WinTV and stop the recording. My solution involved my particular cable box, which has a tech menu setting that can lock-out resolution switching. By turning off the pass-thru of all outputs except for 1080i and 1080p, I caused any problem commercials to be converted in the cable box and output at 1080. Have never had that stoppage issue again.

Good Luck
 
#32
Otter, Thanks for all this great information.

I have another question.

Is there any noticable differences between the various recording bit rates?

In Hauppauge Capture there is a slider bar for adjusting the bit rate and in WinTV there is a Fair, Good, Better, Best or something like that. Unless there is another place to adjust the recording bit rate in WinTV that I don't know about.

What UPS are you using?
 
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#33
I'm recording in .ts and I noticed when I save the program(s) as .mp4 the audio sync seems off when I play them on my computer but as a .ts file the audio sync is perfect. Am I doing something wrong or should I just save the programs in their native .ts?

I have my laptop and Hauppauge HD-PVR2 all set up and have started recording. I'll be picking up my new LED Tv in a bout a week. I would imagine the recordings will play down the same on the TV.
 
#34
crowe-t: "Is there any noticeable differences between the various recording bit rates? "

Depends on how good your raw video signal is. An Over-The-Air HDTV usually has the highest quality. Any signal captured from cabletv or satellite will already have been encoded to lower quality by the provider to compress transmission bandwidth. Which channel makes a difference too - cable will give more bitrate to HBO or major networks than niche channels.

Setting HD-PVR2 to a higher bitrate will not hurt anything but storage. If you use a low bitrate, like 2500kbps, the HD-PVR2 must recode the cable signal down instantly and you end up with what amounts to CRF single pass quality.

I use 10Mbps / 1080i .TS for all HD-PVR2 recording. This record rate is higher than any cable channel signal so the HD-PVR is not down-coding or reframing on the fly. Then I run that "too large" raw file thru VRD to cut adverts and recode down to 1080p, 720p or SD at appropriate 2-pass bitrates. Resulting quality is much better. I've had people think my 1500kpbs 2-pass files were 720p when viewed on a tv.


UPS battery backup units don't have to be expensive and most brands have good inexpensive units. You just need decent filtering and enough VA's to keep everything running for a few sec to a minute when there is a power "blink" that can glitch recording. If AC power is down for longer, just shut down and wait until it gets fixed.

I use basis 600-700VA units that don't have fancy digital displays. My rural location can have power out for days. The fancy digital UPS units will give error message & refuse to work when fed the 58-62 cycle AC from my wholehouse generator. Any devices with digital electronics (computers, tvs, etc) are running off internal DC and could care less about the AC frequency. The more basic UPS is not sensitive to cycles and just does its job.

crowe-t: "should I just save the programs in their native .ts?"

Depending on the original source signal, there could be a "sync offset" tag embedded telling the tv to delay or advance the audio at playback.
By telling your HD-PVR to save in a .MP4 file, you could be stripping this tag out and the audio is off.

I have my HD-PVR menu set to create .TS files from the capture. The video is still h264 encoded and the audio is same as source - 6ch AC3 or AAC. This gives me no audio sync issues in the final VRD recoded file. If I had to adjust, VRD has an "Adjust Audio" capability in the "Tools" menu. You can alter the audio sync ahead or behind as well as adjust the volume up/down.
Sync shift even works with "Fast Recode" I can load a file with AC3 6ch audio and tell VRD to adjust it -500ms, hit Fast Recod and VRD will remux in a few seconds with the specified shift and without any recoding necessary. I can play the shifted file and if it's not quite right, I can set a different shift and do it again.
 
#35
Hi Otter,

Thanks for all this great information. I did some more testing and the sync problem only seems to happen if I'm playing the programs using the Movies & TV player that comes with Windows 10. In the other players it's fine.

I tried hooking my pC directly to my TV with an HDMI and I used one of the players and opened them up to full screen so I don't see the PC's desk top. Well doing it this way makes the video look bad. It has a red tone to it and the contrast isn't very good.

I also tried streaming the programs from the PC to the TV. I tried using an App on the TV called Video and it plays real nicely but one of the folders on the PC's external hard drive won't connect. All the PC's folder and all but the one folder on the external hard drive connect and play out nicely and allows the ability to fast forward and rewind so I can skip commercials on stuff not edited.

I also used a Roku Ultra streaming device. Using Roku's Media Player cuts down on the contrast and the quality isn't as good and it will only allow fast-forward and rewind capability on .MP4 files. So if I want to quickly play a .TS file I just recorded I have to open it in VRD and save it as a .MP4 first so I can fast-forward through commercials.

I also tried Plex media server but it's not as intuitive and also seems to only play .MP4 files.

BTW do you stream from the PC to your TV or have the PC directly hooked up?
 
#36
crowe-t: "I'm playing the programs using the Movies & TV player that comes with Windows 10. "
WHY?
Almost anything would be better as a PC player than that. Check out MPC-HC (Media Player Classic Home Cinema), MPC-BE, or VLC
I use MPC-HC, despite it no longer being supported. It has more customization to configure trackballs and my HTPC keyboards.
Any of the proper PC players will have adjustments to improve image - you will have to learn about the program and find the adjustments and how to use them.

crowe-t: "BTW do you stream from the PC to your TV or have the PC directly hooked up?"
I don't really have a usual setup.
My house has wired GB LAN to all main rooms. A central 16 port GB "smart switch" connects everything and a dual-band AC router handles DHCP and any roaming WiFi devices.

Network "Video Server" is a 5" x 5" Windows micro computer in my office (size of 4 stacked CDs and silent). It has quad-core Intel, 8GB memory, 256GB boot SSD, and 1TB HDD for storage. Files are stored in a "Shared" directory accessible to all computers on the network.
Any device in the house can navigate the network to "VSERVER", browse the video files, click one and the local pc will play it using MPC-HC.

My personal computer and wife's computer in her office have tvs hooked via HDMI-2 as secondary monitors set as an extended desktop. Stored videos are played Full-Screen on the tv using MPC-HC while work continues on the main monitor.
Switching the tv Input button to HDMI-1 gets back to live cable tv viewing.

Viewing in Main Room and bedrooms is via more Windows micro PCs hooked using HDMI to big screen tvs and GB LAN to the network. These micros don't need much local storage, so only have M2 Boot/OS drives.
The micros do have AC WiFi, but the GB LAN is there, so use it and turned off those wifi radios to reduce 2.4/5 GB congestion in the house.
Various laptops and Android tablets work the same, but over wifi - browse the network to the VServer pick out your video and it plays on the device.

The reason for all this is that I've never seen a "Smart" tv - despite the name. Their interfaces are clunky, slow, hard to use and limited in what they do - also every Smart tv has different screen navigation to learn.
They are also a big security risk when allowed on a network - devices running old software that has no protection and no updates have no place inside my firewall.
Likewise streaming devices like Roku are cheap, but have minimal interfaces.

The micro PCs have full Windows with proper anti-virus. They run any Windows program, including latest video players, your favorite browser, stream from services like Hulu, Amazon, BritBox, do simple gaming and big-screen video chatting.
All have Windows version 7 8.1 or 10 versions setup to "look" and work the same - same user experience everywhere cuts down on the "family tech support" I have to do.

I don't recommend this elaborate setup for everyone, but playing on PCs via HDMI to a monitor of bigscreen tv is the way to go. Any outdated computer can be a video server or micro-pcs are pretty cheap ($150-$250)
I have even setup systems using a USB 3.0 portable drive attached to a WiFi router as a video server. Router OS SMB is fast enough to stream HD, but you will want to plug the drive into a real computer to load a large batch of files.
 
#37
Just as good or better is the Popcorn Hour Digital Media Adapter that will stream virtually any format (video or music) from NAS or desktop computer to the TV via HDMI. It can have its own HD to store and play back. The PCH is better than Roku as it is not locked down as Roku is.
 
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